Leonardo Di Caprio's sci-fi film Inception and the Coen brothers' western True Grit have been named as nominees for the Writers Guild of America awards.
The box office hits will compete with smaller films including 127 Hours and The Kids Are All Right for a prestigious screenplay gong from the guild.
The ballet thriller Black Swan, boxing saga The Fighter and comic drama Please Give are also in the running for best original screenplay.
True Grit and 127 Hours are up for adapted screenplay, along with the con man tale I Love You Phillip Morris, Facebook drama The Social Network and the heist thriller The Town.
But some of the year's most acclaimed films, including the much-lauded Colin Firth movie The King's Speech, were deemed ineligible because they weren't made under the guild's contract guidelines.
Documentary screenplay nominees are Enemies of the People, Freedom Riders, Gasland, Inside Job, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)? and The Two Escobars.
Guild winners will be announced on February 5.